General Chapter Information: Boston is a hub of innovation in energy sciences and petrophysics, home to research labs in universities, service companies and operators. A primary goal of this chapter is to connect the researchers in the Boston area with the diverse needs of practicing petrophysicists around the world.

For those who are SPWLA members, please confirm that your chapter affiliation is Boston (you can check that here:  For those who are not SPWLA members, please join the SPWLA (you can do so here:!  Annual membership costs $100 for 2017. For students, membership costs $15.00 for 2017.  Beyond our local meetings, there any many other benefits to membership as described here:

Next Event: The next meeting of the Boston SPWLA will be a special mini-symposium discussing the future of energy and will be held on Friday, September 1st from 9:00 to 1:30 PM in the Auditorium of the Schlumberger-Doll Research (SDR) center in Cambridge, MA. We are privileged to be hearing from Francis Sullivan, Director of Research, MIT Initiative, Kevin Knobloch, Senior Research Associate, The Fletcher School, Tufts, and Former Chief of Staff, US DOE and Robert Kleinberg, Fellow Emeritus, Schlumberger. Program details can be found below. The formal program will be followed by a networking lunch sponsored by the chapter. To RSVP for the meeting, please send a message, including your SPWLA member number, to According to Schlumberger policy, embargoed country nationals will not be admitted to the meeting. Driving directions can be found here: It is suggested that you arrive 10 minutes prior to the scheduled meeting. Street parking is hard to come by. There are several parking garages nearby (expect to pay at least $14 for 2 hours). You can also walk to SDR from the Kendall Square T Station.

Future Events: Additional 2017 events are in the planning stages. Check our chapter website soon for details.

A message from our current Chapter President, Drew Pomerantz: I would like to announce the new officers for the Boston SPWLA. It turns out there was a perfect match between candidates and open positions – five of each – so there was no need to hold elections. The Boston SPWLA officers for the 2017 – 2019 term are:

  • President – Ravi Kausik
  • Vice President – Julie Kowan
  • Secretary – Paul Craddock
  • Treasurer – Tancredi Botto
  • VP Outreach – Sushil Shetty

Congratulations and best of luck to the new officers!  Their term will begin with the August meeting, and you can continue to contact them through this email address.   

 Officer Biographies

President: Andrew E. Pomerantz is the Geochemistry Program Manager at Schlumberger-Doll Research.  His research focuses on the development of novel techniques to characterize the chemical composition of kerogen and asphaltenes, including methods in mass spectrometry, X-ray spectroscopy, and infrared spectroscopy.  That molecular information is used to understand fundamental physical and chemical processes in petroleum such as asphaltene compositional grading and storage and transport in shales.   He graduated from Stanford University with a PhD in chemistry in 2005 and has co-authored 50 peer-reviewed publications.

Vice President: Ravinath Kausik K.V. is a Senior Research scientist at Schlumberger-Doll Research. At Schlumberger he has focused on the development of novel NMR and petrophysical techniques for porous media, especially unconventional gas and tight oil organic shale plays. He has developed new NMR pulse sequences and petrophysical workflows for better understanding various fractions of unconventional plays such as the stored gas, bitumen, producible oil, kerogen and bound water. He is also involved in the development of the next generation NMR relaxometry and diffusometry measurements for both laboratory and logging applications. He obtained a M.Sc. from IIT Madras, India and Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Ulm, Germany.  He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara before joining Schlumberger-Doll Research in 2009.

Secretary: Julie E. Kowan is a Geomechanics Consultant with over 12 years’ experience helping operators drill safer, more cost-effective wells and plan field development by reducing non-productive Time (NPT) due to wellbore instability and improving production. Julie has expertise in unconventional reservoirs, pore pressure prediction, stress constraint, wellbore stability, fracture permeability and compaction and is also skilled at summarizing complex scientific models into digestible reports. Prior to launching J. Kowan Consulting, LLC and joining HXR Drilling Services in June 2016, Julie was a Geomechanics Advisor at Baker Hughes from 2009 to April 2016. Before being promoted to Advisor, Julie held several other technical geomechanics positions at Baker Hughes and GeoMechanics International from 2005 to 2009. Julie earned a Master of Science in Geology from Brown University and a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Rutgers University. 

Treasurer: Tancredi Botto
is a Principal Research scientist at Schlumberger-Doll Research, where he has contributed to and initiated a number of research projects based on nuclear technologies. Among those, he has developed and field tested a novel deep-reading density imager based on naturally occurring cosmic rays. He is also involved in nuclear modeling and microwave sensor research. Tancredi holds a PhD from the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (1999) and a M.Sc. from the University of Genoa, Italy. Prior to joining Schlumberger in 2005 he worked on experimental nuclear physics as a Research Scientist at the MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Science.


Past Events:

September 11, 2015: Susan Herron, recently retired from Schlumberger-Doll Research, presented a talk entitled Subsurface Composition and Mineralogy Determined from Nuclear Spectroscopy Logs and Core Measurements.

November 6, 2015: Manika Prasad of Colorado School of Mines presented a talk entitled Surface Controls on Storage, Stiffness, and Transport Properties of Rocks.

December 3, 2015: Gary A. Simpson of Hess Corporation presented his SPWLA Distinguished Lecture: Using Advanced Logging Measurements to Develop a Robust Petrophysical Model for the Bakken Petroleum System. 

January 22, 2016: Margaret Lessenger, President and Owner of Rimrock Petrophysics and Analytics, presented her SPWLA Distinguished Lecture: Subsurface Fluid Characterization Using Downhole and Core NMR T1T2 Maps Combined with Pore-scale Imaging Techniques.

February 26, 2016: Ralph Milliken, Professor of Planetary Science at Brown University, presented a talk titled, Hyperspectral Imaging for Mineral and Organic Analysis: Lab, Drill Core, and Space-based Applications.

March 22, 2016: Nate Bachman, principal physicist and project manager at the Schlumberger Houston Formation Evaluation Center presented his SPWLA Distinguished lecture, Determination of Wettability from Magnetic Resonance Relaxation and Diffusion Measurements on Fresh-state Cores.

April 21, 2016: Oliver Mullins, Science Advisor at Schlumberger and SPWLA Distinguished Lecturer, presented a talk titled, Reservoir Fluid Geodynamics and Reservoir Evaluation.

May 13, 2016: Ravinath Kausik, Senior Research Scientist at Schlumberger-Doll Research and Boston Chapter Vice President, presented his SPWLA Distinguished Lecture, NMR Relaxometry of Shale and Implications on Logging.

June 2, 2016: Robert Kleinberg, Schlumberger Fellow, Schlumberger-Doll Research, presented a talk titled, Economics of Oil Production. This was a joint event with the NY&NE SPE Chapter.

July 8, 2016: Clotilde Chen Valdes, Ph.D. candidate in interdisciplinary engineering at Texas A&M University, presented her 2015 SPWLA Distinguished Lecture Impact of Anisotropic Elastic and Petrophysical Properties on Stress Prediction in Organic-Rich Mudrocks.

August 5, 2016: Luis Quintero, SPWLA President and Global Advisor at Halliburton, presented a very interesting and entertaining talk titled, Petrophysics, Core of the Oil Industry.

September 30, 2016: Julie Kowan, Geomechanics Consultant at J. Kowan Consulting, LLC and Geomechanics Advisor at HXR Drilling Services, presented a talk titled, Wellbore Stability: Special Concerns for the Marcellus Shale.

November 2, 2016: Mayank Malik of Chevron Energy Technology Company and 2016-2017 SPWLA Distinguished Lecturer presented his talk, How Can Microfracturing Improve Reservoir Management?

December 16, 2016: Dzevat Omeragic of Schlumberger-Doll Resarch presented Monika Vik Constable’s 2016-2017 SPWLA Distinguished Lecture, Looking Ahead of the Bit While Drilling: From Vision to Reality, of which he is a co-author.

January 13, 2017: Vegar Ravlo, Project Manager at Digital Rock Solutions Materials & Structural Analysis (formerly FEI), Thermo Fisher Scientific, presented a talk called, Applying Digital Rock Technology to Reservoir Characterization.

February 17, 2017: Paul Craddock, Research Scientist at Schlumberger-Doll Research Center, presented his 2016-2017 SPWLA Distinguished Lecture titled, Assessing Reservoir Quality in Tight Oil Plays with the Downhole Reservoir Producibility Index (RPI).

March 31, 2017: The Boston Chapter sponsored a guided visit to Harvard’s Mineralogical & Geological Museum. Our host was Dr. Alonso-Perez, the museum curator.

April 14, 2017: Romain Prioul, Program Manager Geomechanics at Schlumberger-Doll Research Center, presented a talk titled, Using Cuttings to Extract Geomechanical Properties Along Lateral Wells in Unconventional Reservoirs.

May 8, 2017: Tim Collet of the USGS presented his AAPG Distinguished Lecturer Presentation, Gas Hydrate Petroleum Systems Analysis in Marine and Arctic Permafrost Environments. Note the MIT MOG Club and SPE NYNE were co-sponsors of this event.

June 16, 2017: Tancredi Botto, Physicist and Principal Scientist at Schlumberger-Doll Research Center presented a talk titled, The Cosmic Ray Imager (CRI): a tool for density monitoring at the reservoir scale.



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